Gender equality and equity fight: An ongoing cause

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LETTERS

THE gender dynamics associated with equal treatment of women and men remain one of the complex developmental questions in the modern world.

Traditional systems and new developments have ushered in a myriad of challenges as well as opportunities for change on gender equality, particularly on the protection of girls and women.

By definition, the word gender refers to identification as male/masculine, female/feminine, including association with a social role or set of behavioural and cultural traits, clothing, stereotypes and so forth.

With the world being dynamic, it is these socially invented roles that continuously bring the need to reflect on societal norms and practices in relation to the ever-changing global dynamics.

In Zimbabwe, gender equality is not yet well-practised as we see many young women and girls being exploited, violated, tortured, raped and abused by males.

Young women and girls are exploited, especially those in rural areas and the  poor.

Some of them are exploited because they are not aware of their rights as women or young girls.

The education sector and its environment have brought no good, especially to school-going girls in various ways.

For example, the schools’ sanitation facilities are largely gender insensitive, with no sanitary ware, sanitary bins or even water for the girls to wash themselves. It is due to such reasons that the number of school dropouts among girls has increased.

According to section 53 of the Constitution, women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres. This is not well practised because there are no equal opportunities for women in politics, for example, in Parliament.

There are only a few women representatives and despite many strides made to empower them through the 2013 quota system, women are still marginalised due to a number of reasons, among them a volatile political environment that is prone to gender-based victimisation.

The journey towards inclusive development requires consistent and co-ordinated efforts through policy, education and the rule of law. There is need for true gender equality and everyone should be accountable, regardless of gender.

A gender-equal society is one where the word “gender” does not exist: Where everyone can be the best version of themselves.

In order for us to achieve gender equality, it requires the involvement of women and men, girls and boys, State and non-State actors.

It is everyone’s responsibility. It should start from childhood and at family level as the primary source of socialisation. –Mukunda Chitova


Corruption in Zim is State-sanctioned

WHEN President Emmerson Mnangagwa took oath of office in 2018, he promised zero tolerance to corruption.

The situation on the ground is speaking to the contrary. Corruption in Zimbabwe is State-sanctioned.

As long as politicians toe the Zanu PF party line, they can engage freely in corruption.

It is not the ordinary people who are corrupt in Zimbabwe, it is Zanu PF politicians and their surrogates in government offices.

Mnangagwa knows this, but his hands are tied as he cannot publicly chastise his own.

If Zanu PF decides to deal with corruption, that will be the end of the party.

I have said it before elsewhere, corruption is the mainstay of Zanu PF.

While corruption contributes 99,9% to economic collapse, restrictive measures contribute less than 0,1%.

A party that collectively rigs elections will never be accountable to the people. I wish the Lord would just say: “Zanu PF be gone”, and I know it will be so. Muzokomba Movers


Govt should not victimise civil society

THE recently gazetted Private Voluntary Organisations Bill is draconian in many ways.

It is meant to silence government critics. President Emmerson Mnangagwa should live true to his word that he is a listening leader.

This obsession with controlling and regulating civil society may eventually destroy the government.

No one wants to assist the government to destroy its standing in the eyes of the citizens.

The economy is crying for our collective efforts.

Our democracy is bleeding, with high levels of intolerance coming from the government.

The State should never be frightened by the ideas of its citizens.

In the public sphere, there should be transparent and accountable discussion and deliberation of issues.

What makes the government believe the lies peddled by State-controlled media to the extent of attacking and vilifying citizens, who are only exercising their rights to speak out against a collapsing economy, lack of progress in terms of reforms, unaccountable government and political bureaucrats and worsening corruption in the public sector.

No one in their right senses would attempt to confront the Zimbabwe government under a President who was assisted to assume power by the military.

But we have the ideas and suggestion on issues affecting us as citizens.

No one should frighten us by arresting some among us, because the reality is that ideas never die, and those who are right will always prevail, no matter the delay.

The government must simply do the right thing and stop focusing on intimidating citizens.

The State should remain accountable to the citizens without resorting to abuse of the repressive State apparatus. Shumba Haidyi Sora


IN response to Tsholotsho engineer breaks new ground, RUSSELL JON says: Hopefully, politicians won’t claim ownership of her development initiative. Go girl. Show these dwarf politicians what we mean by development.

MAI RURU says: The government should support such projects. It is a fact that outsiders will not drive development in the countryside. Foreign investors, who the government is always courting, are motivated by profit. It is this pursuit of profit that is causing more harm than good, especially to the environment. All the developed countries are where they are because their governments supported local initiatives. Foreign direct investment should complement local efforts.


IN response to Zimbabweans speak on by-elections, CHIRAMBA KUSAKARA says: Now that by-elections are done and dusted, it is time for the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) to start thinking about the diaspora vote. I think South Africa and some countries that are home to Zimbabweans such as Botswana, Namibia, United Kingdom and United States are low-hanging fruits. What is the cost of ensuring that these people register to vote ahead of the 2023 elections?

NURURAI says: One take away from these by-elections is that boys were separated from men. Contenders were separated from pretenders. These elections sounded the death knell of MDC Alliance leader Douglas Mwonzora and his cabal’s political careers.


IN response to Opposition cries foul, MICHAEL NYAMWEDA says: I genuinely want change, the way the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission handles elections is not fair — it leaves a lot to be desired.

CHIRISERI says: The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) should follow the letter and spirit of the law with regards to the holding of elections. The Electoral Act is clear on how ballots are supposed to be printed. It is unfortunate that Zec handpicked State entities to print ballots without consulting stakeholders. This is not going to do any good to Zec’s standing in the eyes of Zimbabweans. This will result in election outcomes being contested.